I know the Mouth wrote that a possible Sunday coronation may be ho-hum, but I think we’ve already proven that it’s too late Rory’s overall performance to be deemed uninteresting. Look at all the discussions we’ve already had just this week about the 22 year-old.
But a ho-hum coronation is exactly what Golf needs right now.
When Tiger ran away with the 1997 Masters or the 2000 US Open, I don’t think any of us were mourning the lack of drama. We reveled in knowing that we were watching one of those rare, historic performances.
But it’s not just the runaway performance. When Louis Oosthuizen lapped the field as St. Andrews, there wasn’t this type of buzz. No offense to Louis, but no one predicted it was a foreshadowing of a Tiger-esque career. So far, Rory’s has been a record-breaking performance, mixed with the underlying hope of future dominance. We don’t need any drama to mess that up. We need today to be as boring as possible, perhaps with Rory repeating Tiger’s Pebble Beach finale, avoiding any bogeys altogether.
And Rory’s timing couldn’t be better. We have rotated between several #1 players in the last few months, but none have really captured our imagination. Several weeks ago, we also wrote about how much we missed Tiger. But in recent weeks, I think the reality of Tiger’s failing knee have forced us to accept the fact that his dominance may never return.
And really, was it Tiger that we missed? Or was it his dominating performances? Throughout his career, we have always admired the way Tiger pulled off his feats with amazing regularity. But that has always been tempered by concerns over his personality. His thinly veiled contempt of the media. And the sometimes “over the top” competitiveness where he would turn rather innocuous comments into personal affronts (Stephen Ames, anyone?) And all these concerns pre-dated the Thanksgiving 2009 revelations. We tolerated Woods the Person, because of Woods the Golfer, but secretly wished we could be as excited for both.
Rory’s outgoing nature and still unguarded frankness is a stark juxtaposition to the athlete against which the next generation will be compared. Who wouldn’t be excited by the proposition of following his career?
And unlike Tiger’s ascension, which was largely against an “established” old guard, Rory’s career would run concurrently with other young stars like Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson and the like. There will be no intimidation of 35+ year old players who just accept that they’ll never keep up with some new 22 year-old hot-shot.
Wow, I’m getting way ahead of myself here.
But Ho-Hum would be a nice place to start today.